Graduate Applicants

We offer on-campus and online graduate programs that focus on understanding the history and context of religious belief systems in an effort to help students better understand and navigate the complexities and challenges facing our cross-cultural world. Our student-focused faculty mentor graduate students as they become experts in their chosen field of interest. About half of our MA graduates go on to attend top-tier doctoral programs in religious studies, while others become valuable contributors in careers such as business, social work, government and journalism. 

Learn more about our degree programs:


 

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Tuition & Funding

Religious Studies MA

Our MA degree is 45 credits and can be completed in two academic years. For the 2023–2024 academic year, tuition is $1,612 per credit. Admitted students receive a merit scholarship covering 54% of tuition, meaning that after scholarships, students pay an average of $16,684 in tuition annually.

Religious Studies Certificate

Our Certificate is 24 credits and can be completed in one academic year. For the 2023–2024 academic year, tuition is $1,612 per credit. Admitted students receive a merit scholarship covering 54% of tuition, meaning that after scholarships, students pay an average of $17,796 in tuition annually.

World Religions Certificate

Our Certificate is 16 credits and can be completed in one academic year. For the 2023–2024 academic year, tuition is $1,612 per credit. Admitted students receive a merit scholarship covering 54% of tuition, meaning that after scholarships, students pay an average of $11,864 in tuition annually.

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Admission Requirements & Deadlines

  • Religious Studies MA

    Deadlines

    Fall 2024 quarter (beginning in September)
    • Priority deadline: January 31, 2024

    • Final submission deadline: July 15, 2024

    • International submission deadline: May 6, 2024

    Winter 2025 quarter (beginning in January)
    • Final submission deadline: December 9, 2024

    • International submission deadline: September 9, 2024

    Spring 2025 quarter (beginning in March)
    • Final submission deadline: March 14, 2025

    • International submission deadline: December 9, 2024

    Priority deadline: Applications will be considered after the Priority deadline provided space is available.

    Final submission deadline: Applicants cannot submit applications after the final submission deadline.

    Degrees and GPA Requirements

    Bachelors degree: All graduate applicants must hold an earned baccalaureate from a regionally accredited college or university or the recognized equivalent from an international institution.

    Grade point average: The minimum undergraduate GPA for admission consideration for graduate study at the University of Denver is a cumulative 2.5 on a 4.0 scale or a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale for the last 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits (approximately two years of work) for the baccalaureate degree. An earned master’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution supersedes the minimum standards for the baccalaureate. For applicants with graduate coursework but who have not earned a master’s degree or higher, the GPA from the graduate work may be used to meet the requirement. The minimum GPA is a cumulative 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all graduate coursework undertaken.

    Program GPA requirement: The minimum undergraduate GPA for admission consideration for this program is a cumulative 2.5 on a 4.0 scale

    Prerequisites

    Appropriate undergraduate background in relevant arts, humanities or social science disciplines. Generally, some prior coursework in the academic study of religion is expected.

  • Religious Studies Certificate

    Deadlines

    Fall 2023 quarter (beginning in September)
    • Priority deadline: January 31, 2023

    • Final submission deadline: July 14, 2023

    Winter 2024 quarter (beginning in January)
    • Final submission deadline: December 11, 2023

    Spring 2024 quarter (beginning in March)
    • Final submission deadline: March 15, 2024

    Priority deadline: Applications will be considered after the Priority deadline provided space is available.

    Final submission deadline: Applicants cannot submit applications after the final submission deadline.

    Degrees and GPA Requirements

    Bachelors degree: All graduate applicants must hold an earned baccalaureate from a regionally accredited college or university or the recognized equivalent from an international institution.

    Grade point average: The minimum undergraduate GPA for admission consideration for graduate study at the University of Denver is a cumulative 2.5 on a 4.0 scale or a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale for the last 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits (approximately two years of work) for the baccalaureate degree. An earned master’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution supersedes the minimum standards for the baccalaureate. For applicants with graduate coursework but who have not earned a master’s degree or higher, the GPA from the graduate work may be used to meet the requirement. The minimum GPA is a cumulative 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all graduate coursework undertaken.

    Program GPA requirement: The minimum undergraduate GPA for admission consideration for this program is a cumulative 2.5 on a 4.0 scale

    Prerequisites

    Generally, some prior coursework in the academic study of religion is expected.

  • World Religions Certificate

    Deadlines

    Fall 2023 quarter (beginning in September)
    • Priority deadline: January 31, 2023

    • Final submission deadline: July 14, 2023

    Winter 2024 quarter (beginning in January)
    • Final submission deadline: December 11, 2023

    Spring 2024 quarter (beginning in March)
    • Final submission deadline: March 15, 2024

    Priority deadline: Applications will be considered after the Priority deadline provided space is available.

    Final submission deadline: Applicants cannot submit applications after the final submission deadline.

    Degrees and GPA Requirements

    Bachelors degree: All graduate applicants must hold an earned baccalaureate from a regionally accredited college or university or the recognized equivalent from an international institution.

    Grade point average: The minimum undergraduate GPA for admission consideration for graduate study at the University of Denver is a cumulative 2.5 on a 4.0 scale or a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale for the last 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits (approximately two years of work) for the baccalaureate degree. An earned master’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution supersedes the minimum standards for the baccalaureate. For applicants with graduate coursework but who have not earned a master’s degree or higher, the GPA from the graduate work may be used to meet the requirement. The minimum GPA is a cumulative 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all graduate coursework undertaken.

    Program GPA requirement: The minimum undergraduate GPA for admission consideration for this program is a cumulative 2.5 on a 4.0 scale

  • Additional Standards for Non-Native English Speakers and International Applicants

    Additional Standards for Non-Native English Speakers

    Official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), C1 Advanced or Duolingo English Test are required of all graduate applicants, regardless of citizenship status, whose native language is not English or who have been educated in countries where English is not the native language. Your TOEFL/IELTS/C1 Advanced/Duolingo English Test scores are valid for two years from the test date.

    The minimum TOEFL/IELTS/C1 Advanced/Duolingo English Test score requirements for this degree program are:

    • Minimum TOEFL Score (Internet-based test): 80

    • Minimum IELTS Score: 6.5

    • Minimum C1 Advanced Score: 176

    • Minimum Duolingo English Test Score: 115

    English Conditional Acceptance Offered: No, this program does not offer English Conditional Admission.

    Additional Standards for International Applicants

    Per Student & Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) regulation, international applicants must meet all standards for admission before an I-20 or DS-2019 is issued, [per U.S. Federal Register: 8 CFR § 214.3(k)] or is academically eligible for admission and is admitted [per 22 C.F.R. §62]. Read the Additional Standards For International Applicants policy for more details.

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Application Materials

  • Religious Studies MA

    Your application will need to include the following materials:

    • Transcripts
    • Standardized Test Scores (Optional)
    • Letters of Recommendation
    • Required Essays and Statements
    • Writing Sample
       

    See below for details.

    Transcripts

    We require a scanned copy of your transcripts from every college or university you have attended. Scanned copies must be clearly legible and sized to print on standard 8½-by-11-inch paper. Transcripts that do not show degrees awarded must also be accompanied by a scanned copy of the diploma or degree certificate. If your academic transcripts were issued in a language other than English, both the original documents and certified English translations are required.

    Transcripts and proof of degree documents for postsecondary degrees earned from institutions outside of the United States will be released to a third-party international credential evaluator to assess U.S. education system equivalencies. Beginning July 2023, a non-refundable fee for this service will be required before the application is processed.

    Upon admission to the University of Denver, official transcripts will be required from each institution attended.

    Standardized Test Scores (Optional)

    GRE scores are optional for admission to this program. Applications submitted without scores will receive full consideration. Every application undergoes a comprehensive evaluation, including a careful review of all application materials.

    If you choose to submit test scores, you may upload your Test Taker Score Report PDF, which is considered unofficial. Official scores must be received directly from the appropriate testing agency upon admission to the University of Denver. The ETS institution code to submit GRE scores to the University of Denver is 4842.

    University Standardized Test Policy

    Letters of Recommendation

    Three (3) letters of recommendation are required.  Letters should be submitted by recommenders through the online application.  Letters should demonstrate your academic ability and promise for graduate studies.

    Essays and Statements

    Personal Statement Instructions

    A personal statement that describes your interest in religious studies and your career goals is required. That statement, of at least 300 words, must include relevant information concerning your life, education, practical experience, special interests and specific purpose for applying to the University of Denver. It must also include which of our five areas of specialization you would likely select, why, and which faculty you hope to work with. If your academic background is not in religious studies or a relevant humanities or social science field, please explain your preparation for study at the MA level.

    Writing Sample

    An academic writing sample of 5–10 pages is required. Applicants may submit all or part of a paper previously submitted for a course, or may submit another piece of written work. If submitting a section of a longer paper, please provide a brief (one paragraph) abstract (summary) of the larger work from which the excerpt is taken.

  • Religious Studies Certificate

    Your application will need to include the following materials:

    • Transcripts
    • Letters of Recommendation
    • Required Essays and Statements
    • Writing Sample
       

    See below for details.

    Transcripts

    We require a scanned copy of your transcripts from every college or university you have attended. Scanned copies must be clearly legible and sized to print on standard 8½-by-11-inch paper. Transcripts that do not show degrees awarded must also be accompanied by a scanned copy of the diploma or degree certificate. If your academic transcripts were issued in a language other than English, both the original documents and certified English translations are required.

    Transcripts and proof of degree documents for postsecondary degrees earned from institutions outside of the United States will be released to a third-party international credential evaluator to assess U.S. education system equivalencies. Beginning July 2023, a non-refundable fee for this service will be required before the application is processed.

    Upon admission to the University of Denver, official transcripts will be required from each institution attended.

    Letters of Recommendation

    One (1) letter of recommendation is required.  Letters should be submitted by recommenders through the online application.

    Essays and Statements

    Personal Statement Instructions

    A personal statement that describes your interest in religious studies and your career goals is required. The statement, of at least 300 words, should include information concerning your life, education, practical experience, special interests and specific purpose for applying to the University of Denver.

    Writing Sample

    An academic writing sample of 3–10 pages is required. Applicants may submit all or part of a paper previously submitted for a course, or may submit another piece of written work. If submitting a section of a longer paper, please provide a brief (one paragraph) abstract (summary) of the larger work from which the excerpt is taken.

  • World Religions Certificate

    Your application will need to include the following materials:

    • Transcripts
    • Required Essays and Statements

    See below for details.

    Transcripts

    We require a scanned copy of your transcripts from every college or university you have attended. Scanned copies must be clearly legible and sized to print on standard 8½-by-11-inch paper. Transcripts that do not show degrees awarded must also be accompanied by a scanned copy of the diploma or degree certificate. If your academic transcripts were issued in a language other than English, both the original documents and certified English translations are required.

    Transcripts and proof of degree documents for postsecondary degrees earned from institutions outside of the United States will be released to a third-party international credential evaluator to assess U.S. education system equivalencies. Beginning July 2023, a non-refundable fee for this service will be required before the application is processed.

    Upon admission to the University of Denver, official transcripts will be required from each institution attended.

    Essays and Statements

    Personal Statement Instructions

    A 250-300 word personal statement describing your interest in the specialized certificate program and what you hope to learn is required.

  • Application Fee

    Application Fee

    Application Fee: $65.00

    Fee Waivers

    MA/Certificate Programs

    • Colorado Residents: Application fee waivers are available to Colorado residents who apply to MA or certificate programs in the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences prior to the priority deadline.
    • Limited numbers of MA/Certificate application fee waivers are also available for the following groups (first-come, first-served):
      • Americorps, City Year, and Peace Corps Alumni
      • Veterans
      • DU Alumni
         

    Fee Waiver Process
    1. Submit all of your application materials, including your transcripts and letters of recommendation. Do not pay the fee.
    2. Contact cahssgradinquiry@du.edu to request a fee waiver.
    3. You will receive a notification when your fee waiver has been applied to your account. Once the fee waiver is applied we will review your application.
       

    International Degree Evaluation Fee

    International Degree Evaluation Fee: $50.00

    Evaluation Fee for degrees (bachelor's or higher) earned from institutions outside the United States. Fees for degree evaluation are not waived.

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